Archive for November, 2008

A neighborhood discovery

Pumpkin launchers (the trebuchet on left is firing)The house is basically home now, but we’re still discovering unexpected aspects to our new location. It’s odd to be finding things so long after moving, but it seems like we’ve spent more time away from home than here for the past several months. Some things also relate to the changing seasons, like our furnace troubles and the magnificent colors as the sugar maples in the yard changed color.

Since I keep finding new aspects to the house, I shouldn’t be surprised at finding new things about the neighborhood. I haven’t really explored yet, apart from figuring out how to get to the grocery store or to meetings. I haven’t even biked to the library yet, which is a goal I’ve had for a while.

This past weekend, the day after Halloween, Maggie and I went down to Thompson Park for the pumpkin launch (yup, you read that right). I thought that the park was pretty deep in the neighborhood to the south of us, so I hadn’t made it out there yet. It turns out that although it’s about four blocks away as the car drives, much closer than I thought, it’s only about a block walking, which is much closer still!

A launched pumpkinIt’s a nice little park, with basketball and tennis courts, baseball diamonds, a playground, shelters, and a couple of trails. Of course, the highlight when we were there were the pumpkin launchers set up on the field.

For the past several years, Bloomington has had a pumpkin launching contest the weekend after Halloween. There are pumpkin flavored goodies, pumpkin seed spitting contests, and teams of pumpking launchers. For some reason, this was the last year they plan to do it, so Maggie and I decided to take a picnic lunch and enjoy the spectacle. It didn’t hurt that it was 70 degrees out and sunny… a perfect day for throwing pumpkins as far as possible.

An exploding pumpkinThere were three entrants: a trebuchet powered by a coordinated team of burly individuals and two PVC cannons that seemed to be powered by springs. The cannons were able to shoot a pumpkin over 200 yards! They did less well with accuracy, however. One shot a pumpkin into the ground only 20 yards in front of it while trying to hit a target 50 yards away.

The trebuchet was only able to loft a pumpkin 90 yards, but consistently got within 10-15 yards of the target. It was also much, much faster to load and shoot. The best part, though, is that because it wasn’t shooting as hard, the pumpkin didn’t go as high, so it was much easier to see. It’s amazing to shoot a pumpkin 200 yards, but it doesn’t look very impressive until it hits the ground.

Overall, we enjoyed an afternoon outside on a sunny day, had a great time watching exploding pumpkins, and found a nice park within walking distance. I’d call that a successful All Saints’ Day.

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Mr. and Mrs. Green Couple

Maggie and Will cut cakeWe’re ba-ack!  Apologies to those of you who have been chafing at the bit for more greencouple action but you’ll be pleased to know that taking a sabbatical has left us full of energy and post ideas.  I was pretty amazed how often I had the urge to blog during the month of October, but at the same time it was a tremendous relief to not have the pressure of posting on top of all the little wedding details.

The wedding was fabulous and lovely.  Our shoemaking honeymoon was fantastic and we will regale you with multiple shoemaking posts once we edit down our collection of 1,204 photographs.  Of shoemaking.  I think even with twelve people taking pictures at the wedding we probably only ended up with a few hundred shots but for shoemaking, we were serious about documentation.  (I wanted to use the photo Michele took of us that I like to call “Will and Maggie get hulked” but I couldn’t get it to cooperate.  Thanks to Lauren for the lovely cake-cutting photo!)

During our sabbatical, we did find a little time to think about the blog and have decided we will now be posting three times a week instead of five, with the hopes of distilling our wit and charm even further to give you the highest quality green inspirations.  As you might suspect, we have a bit of a backlog of subject ideas so I hope you can handle a few slightly outdated posts about weddings, shoemaking, and how October is the awesomest month of the year.  We will also post some more about the house featuring both updates on our remodel projects (such as “The Magical Properties of Glue, Including How It Mysteriously Surfaces Through Three Coats of Paint”) as well as our latest projects (such as “Maggie’s Neverending Fascination with Peeling Wallpaper”).

So far married life is pretty darn similar to engaged life, which is just fine with me.  In the interest of not talking about tomorrow’s election (as I’m sure you have all been exposed to plenty of urgings to vote by now), I will leave you with a question.  What is the biggest challenge you face in trying to live green?

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